Monday, November 29, 2010

Drumsticks on Fire

Every once in a while, I look around and go 'huh.' A perpetual outsider, I've honed my skills for observing the natives. It started out as a survival tactic and grew to be something I'd do to amuse myself.

And, every once in a while, it shows me an aspect of myself that I never knew I had.

I feel like I need to precede this story with a few simple facts about myself:

1.) I don't dance. Ever. Not only because I can't (seriously, drunk badgers have better rhythm), but also because I pose a clear and present danger to all in my vicinity.

2.) I don't generally flirt. Never really felt like I had to - the only men interested in flirting with me (usually) are creepy old men. With man-boobs and sweat stains. Sexxxay.

3.) Singing is also a no-no. My broken warbling has been known to bring men to their knees, begging for mercy.

So yes. And these three facts have pretty much remained my status quo (yes, I know I'm boring). I'm the girl over by the wall, sipping on a Guinness and gently swaying to the music (I've found I'm a very good sway-er)

I went out with a coworker to see a band the other night. I enjoy music, and I enjoy beer. The fact that said band was playing in a bar was a plus. After repeatedly refusing a few buckets of rum (seriously, the bar serves rum buckets. It's a bucket filled with four or five different types of awesome is that?), I decided to settle in with my Jameson (ok, c'mon didn't really expect me to drink some sissy fruity thing, did you?).

Long story short, after a few Jamesons, a few Yuenglings, and a Guinness or three, I was headbanging along with the band to Rage Against the Machine. There was also some jumping and sexy (!!! I almost achieved a sexy dance!!!) dancing. The drummer lit his drumsticks on fire. He also did a pretty sick solo.

I had a lot of fun, and I think I've resigned myself to doing things like that more often. Except maybe with less drinking, because really, I don't think my liver can take that on a regular basis.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holiday cheer?

The holidays are approaching.

I can feel it. The same way I can feel indigestion bubbling up from my gastrointestinal depths.

It's not that I don't enjoy the holidays, or that I don't like them. I do. Well, I like parts of them.

I like seeing my Grandmom and Grandpop (and I suppose the rest of the family isn't half bad either). I like giving presents away, and seeing the looks on other people's faces when I give them something that I spent time looking for (or, in some cases, making). And I love the food.

Oh the food. For those of you who don't know, I've been having a torrid love affair with food for the past 25 years.

I like the spirit of the holidays. What I don't like, however, is the crowds. I'm mildly claustrophobic at best, and and I hate people touching me.

Especially little old women who have no sense of personal space. Lady, you can have the sweater if it means you'll back the eff off.

People gets nuts, for some reason. Absolutely batty. Normal, perfectly nice people suddenly start doing remarkable impressions of the Incredible Hulk. Hulk angry. Hulk smash.

Part of me wonders whether or not the holidays are about pleasing others or one-upping them. And the other part of me is too busy pointing out that that's a very Grinch-esque point of view, and would I just stop being a stick in the mud already?

I think I'm going to hang some lights on the house tomorrow. Freezing the balls I don't have off seems like a good way to kick off this holiday season.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Oh Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for my friends and my family - without them I'd be lost forever to the dark dank hole of depression. I wouldn't be me without them. I'm thankful for my animals - they showed me what it's like to truly love another being with no strings attached. I'm thankful for all the teachers and professors I've ever had. Even you, Mrs. McClusky - I haven't forgotten how you said I was slow like molasses. Fifth graders have a long memory, it turns out. I'm also thankful for microwaves, cars, facebook, and underwear.

Tomorrow's Black Friday, and with it comes the insanity of the holiday season. I'm trying to stay upbeat - I'm nursing a slightly broken heart (Pookie and I have split up for good), but love isn't everything, contrary to what Disney taught me. And maybe it's a fresh start.

That doesn't make it suck any less.

I'm taking time this holiday season for me. It's about high-time I did. I'm sick of living life by other people's rules - it's time to grow up. I'm making the rules, and I'm not going to let other people's judgements about my job, or my living situation, or anything else dictate who I am.

Screw. That.

So many people get caught up in the stress and drama of life. It becomes a trap. They get stuck living so far in the future that they forget how to live in the present, and then they don't know how to function without the stress. So they seek it out, and forget what's really important. I'm not going to be one of those people. Don't get me wrong - it's important to keep the future in mind. But it doesn't dictate who I am.

I'm going to keep what's important to me close to my heart this holiday season. And I hope all ya'll do as well.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


My Nanny is dying.

She's my father's mother - a Catholic who married a Lutheran, lived through the depression, put up with weekly emergency room visits from her spawn, put the majority of said spawn through college, and still somehow managed to stay sane throughout it all.

She's someone who always snuck me candy when my parents weren't looking, she made me eat my carrots, and she used to sit quietly in the corner and smile to herself as she watched the chaos unfold around her. The eye of the storm, as it were.

That said, we aren't particularly close. With 20-something cousins (and counting), her attentions were always split among us. I also very rarely ever saw her but two or three times a year - I spoke to her maybe a time or two more than that. Sad reflection on today's society and youth, but there you have it. The facts.

Nanny has Alzheimer's disease. She's had it for a few years now, and she just keeps getting worse and worse. It's to the point now where she can't even finish a sentence - where she doesn't even recognize her own children, much less her grandchildren.

She can't walk anymore. She sits in the nursing home, vacantly staring at the television screen, avoiding eye contact with everyone around her. Some days she's ok. Some days it's like there's still a glimmer of her old self in there. Other days though...other days aren't so good. I don't know what's more heartbreaking, her presence or her absence.

My father's family is, understandably, crushed. They don't know what to do, or how to act. The last two years has been a shit-show worthy of the worst reality-television series. First there was arguing about which hospital to put her in when she had her heart attack. Then there was arguing about which nursing home to put her in. Then they started fighting over who would have power of attorney. How much to sell the house for. Who to sell the house to. What to do with her estate.

And now, they still argue. Oh no, we can't go up and visit - it'd be too many people. Oh my gosh, nobody ever visits, she's getting lonely.

My father's family, I've decided, bleeds their pain out through arguing.

And then there's me. Is it wrong to hope that Nanny dies? She's said multiple times that she wants to. She wants to join her husband in death.

I can only hope that she'll find solace in death. Because she's sure as hell not getting it now.

I don't know what that says about how much I care about her. I do. I think I love her.

I just hate seeing her in pain.

Monday, November 15, 2010


When I was thirteen, my parents decided to start visiting Oak Island, N.C. every year for our summer vacation. We'd wake up at three in the damn bloody morning, haul our suitcases in the mini-van, and get on the road.

Y'know, it sounds so inconspicuous when it's put out in writing. Chaotic would be the word that best describes what really went down on those trips.

My sister? Felt the need to pack no less than five suitcases (much to my eternal consternation - they took up my leg-room), Dad was screaming at us to hurry it the hell up because he (goddamn it) did not want to hit traffic, and Mom...Mom was doing her best to hold it all together and not smack her husband for being an idiot.

After many hours (ten, to be precise) of cursing delightful conversation, we'd arrive at Oak Island, N.C. It's supposed to take twelve hours to get there, but Dad liked to compete with the previous year's time - he once got the trip down to 8 hours (much to our horror).

It was nice and secluded. It was a nature preserve with a beach. Adorable baby loggerhead turtles used it as a nesting site, and whenever we went we seemed to see the little tykes hatching in the dusk and flapping their way towards the ocean (y'know, when they weren't getting run over by the tourists).

I...I was all over that shit.

Like white on rice baby. Like white on rice.

My sister, on the other hand, hated it. She was horrified that the nearest mall was over an hour's drive away, and she didn't like the "bugs, dirt, sand, ugly ocean water, and like, ohmigawd fish like, totally poop in there."

She's a special type of girl. Bless the man she winds up trapping marrying...poor sonovabitch.

I remember sitting on the deck in the morning while everyone was asleep, watching the pelicans fly by and listening to the waves crash. Oak Island is my special place. I remember sitting on the beach, watching old women with skin like leather sit and slather on suntan lotion like it was going to do something for them. Elephants have thinner skin.

I also remember the year that hurricane Charley hit.

I remember sitting in the backseat of the mini-van, watching the palm trees bend in the wind. They were nearly perpendicular to the ground, and I distinctly remember thinking that if Dad killed us on the way to the beach, I would totally kill him. Again. (I was in the middle of my "rebellion" stage - by this time I was a whopping 19 years old. Rebellion hit me later in life).

So after driving through the winds, we finally hit the eye of the storm. Both literally and figuratively - my mother had been peppering our ride with a colorful mastery of the English language that I, dear readers, have not seen an equal since.

So, we're down there in the coastal region of North Carolina, about to cross a bridge to get to Oak Island.

I didn't think Dad was suicidal up until that point. It became clear to me that he? Was going to take us all out in a hurricane-induced blaze of glory. So he's about to drive over this bridge and - surprise surprise - there was a cop awaiting for us at the entrance.

So of course the cop tells us to turn around. Dad's response?

"Sir, this is a Chrysler Town and Country. I think it can handle it."

Le Sigh. This is the type of class I come from people. I can only hope that one day my future children (if I ever settle down and decide to have the little poop machines) will know exactly how special their family is.

drunken ramblings

It occurs to me that you, dear Reader, are horribly uninformed as to who I am.

So here's me rectifying that. It's also feeding my ego. But eh. Potato, potahto. I'm drunk, and so I've gotten the courage to write....25 things about me that you probably didn't know.

1.) I am, at times, a total girl. I love doing the whole chocolate and candles and sappy chick flick thing. But I can also totally kick your ass if you piss me off, and if you call me on being a girl, I'll totally deny it.

2.) Nirvana is a good book and the ability to curl up into a blanket warm from the dryer. It's also a pretty awesome band.

3.) I have a secret fetish for jackets, fine cars, and really well-made shoes.

4.) I adore flying. And travel. But sometimes, I like flying in a plane more than the actual destination. I love it when the plane goes through the clouds, and it's all murky, and then, all of a sudden, they clear out and there it is. The sun glinting off the top of little puffs of water vapor. It's enough to make me believe in magic again.

5.) Someday, I will travel to all the continents. Or, I'll at least get around to visiting most of them. Maybe.

6.) I let my emotions get the best of me most of the time. I usually wind up taking something completely insignificant and turning it into a gigantic fucking deal for no reason at all. I'm ridiculously insecure.

7.) Happiness is ephemeral. I truly believe that everyone needs a little sadness in their lives to counteract the happiness. Horrible of me, I know, but I'm a big supporter of the ying and yang of life.

8.) I secretly have a soft spot for country music. Don't get me wrong, if you stick me in a car for a few hours and force me to listen to it, I'll probably gouge out my ears with whatever sharp pointy object is available. But I won't deny that there's a small (infetestimally small) part of me that actually kind of digs it.

9.) I enjoy dancing. I suck at it, which is why I tend not to do it (unless there's copious amounts of alcohol involved), but I do enjoy it. The problem is, I usually wind up attempting sexy dancing, which..let's face hilarious when a fat chick is trying to do it.

10.) In the same vein as #9, I also like to sing. Don't get me wrong, I sound like a dying cat when I do so, but it's a type of release for me. Better than punching and kicking at pillows, at any rate.

11.) I'm terrified of nursing homes. And clowns. I haven't found a connection...yet.

12.) I can't stand people. I'd be happy holed up in a house in the mountains, where my groceries are air-lifted to me, with a bunch of dogs and varying other animals to keep me company. At least I know that they won't backstab me. Then again, I also realize how lonely of an existence that would be, and so I'm kind of caught in that weird in-between.

13.) My secret fear is that I'm going to wind up alone with no one but a bunch of cats to love me.

14.) I'm in love with food. In LOVE. That wasn't a was a reality.

15.) I hate peas. If you try to make me eat them, I'll dump them in whatever conveniently located potted plant is in the vicinity. I don't care if it's your great-Grammy's recipe. I ain't eating them.

16.) So I don't drink much, but I do enjoy a beer or two. And I can hold my liquor up to a certain point. For the most part I'm a happy drunk, but every once in a while I can get a bit insecure and then...well, then I throw myself a pity party.

17.) I have extremely vivid dreams. When I was a kid, I had trouble distinguishing between reality and the dreamworld.

18.) Sometimes, when I'm alone, I'll practice my katas. It's been a long time since I was in karate classes, but I remember some of it. The repetition of them calms me down and brings me peace of mind.

19.) I still have nightmares. And they're so close to reality, it creeps me out. So much so that I refuse to even acknowledge them. But, regardless, they're there - lurking, waiting to wake me up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.

20.) I'm actually a deeply religious person. I mean, I realize that everyone says that they're deeply religious, and I realize that more often than not people are just saying that in order to try to make people believe that they're philosophical and shit, but I honestly can say that I am. I love my God. And if you have an issue with that, step the eff back.

21.) I'm slightly drunk right now. It takes a while for alcohol to settle in, but give it a while and boy-howdy. My preferred drink is Jameson, or (in tonight's case) craft beer. I am not an expert in craft brews, but if you ask me when I'm drunk I'll be sure to assure you of my expertise.

22.) I actually like what I do for a living. I mean, it has its downs, but for the most part I enjoy it. As a permanent job, I don't think so, but it's a pretty sweet deal for right now.

23.) Sometimes my dreams come true.

24.) I love me some Jameson. And I love me some man-drinks. But more often than not, the fruity drinks appeal to me just as much.

25.) I am human. And as a human, I can recognize how other humans work. No one's perfect.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A rant about Voting

Warning: semi-political rant ahead. You've been warned.

Oh hi internet. It's me again.

So, election day. First, let me start out by saying that if you didn't vote, and you're elegible to do so, you? SUCK MAJOR DONKEY BALLS.

You suck them like wowzie.

I actually had this conversation with a co-worker today (yes, us service people can actually have conversations that don't involved the words "can" "help" and "you"). He doesn't vote. In fact, he's going on 30, and he's never voted. Like ever.

WTF is up with that? I pondered it in my head for a little bit, then decided to ask him.

"Well," he replied in a slightly embarassed tone, "I never really saw much point in it."

It was at this point that I realized that I was picturing a little me inside my head. And little me was exploding.

People died for our right to vote. They. Died. As in, human lives were terminated for no other reason that they felt that we, the american people, should be able to choose who we will have in office to represent us. They thought that we should have the freedom to even choose whether or not we want to vote.

It's deep and shit stuff (I am attempting to clean up my language. So far it's been a losing battle).

I get where he was coming from - hell, I used to be there. I didn't "get" voting until I was in my early twenties (insert a tear for my lost youth here). I figured, hey, what's the point? I don't follow politics. I doubt my vote is going to be the one to turn the tide.

Oh...stupid, stupid me. Hindsight is 20/20 and blah blah blah.

Basically, it boils down to this:

Sure, one person's vote can't change the tide. It's like saving pennies. One doesn't make a difference, but many do. We are that "many." And honestly, if one's refusing to vote for a reason, then I can dig that. Say they don't like the people up for election - I'm all down with that.

But...if you aren't voting just because you didn't feel like it? That's lazy.

Republican, Democrat, Independant - I don't freaking care. In this case, it doesn't matter what party you support. I heard that they thought that there would be a 50% turnout of voters this year.

It's disgusting.

And shameful. We have what other countries can only dream of, and we throw it all away for no other reason than "we didn't feel like it."

Don't bitch when people you don't like get elected. And don't bitch when taxes take a steep upwards hike, or when your neighborhood fall to shit. Or when that annoying pothole up the street that never gets fixed decides to flatten your tire, or when your kids are flunking school and can't get help from the teacher because hey, it's not in her pay grade.

Voting matters.